October 9, 2008

Voter Registration Problems in Lake County

County rejects large number of invalid voter registrations

CROWN POINT | Lake County Republican Chairman John Curley wants a federal investigation into hundreds of voter registrations bearing fictitious signatures or the names of dead and underage people.

"Fraudulent applications are the workings of ACORN groups operating from Milwaukee and Chicago who are getting out the vote for Obama. I'm Republican, but I want everyone who should vote to vote. But I want a clean election," Curley said at a Wednesday news conference.

Lake County elections officials acknowledged they have found problems and had to reject a large portion of the 5,000 registration forms turned in recently by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, an activist group that conducted registration drives across the county this summer.

An ACORN spokesperson couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment. Telephones to ACORN offices in Gary, Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee were reported to be disconnected.

ACORN is under fire in in most of the battleground states.  If you look at their registration effort, most of their focus has been in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida (they've registered about 865,000 names in those three states); they have registered only 23,000 people in Indiana.  Personally, I'm not quite sure how much of a danger the fraudulent registrations are -- I mean, even if you register fake names/addresses, you have to keep track of those fake names and addresses and find people to pretend to be those fake names and have those fake addresses.

I find it more likely that these ACORN workers are paid by the registration form, so they make up names and addresses -- and fake signatures (as is the case in Lake County where 5000 signatures seemed to be written by the same hand).  Their intent is to make money by turning in forms, not to come back on election day with fake voters to stuff the ballot box.  One thing this does do, though, is push the number of registered Democrats (ACORN seems to focus on heavily Democratic areas for their voter turnout efforts) way up and this figures into the polling companies -- which weight their polls based on registration numbers.

In short, (and we'll find out on November 2nd) the polls could be way off because of both fake registrations and Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" (where he prompted Republicans to register as Democrats to vote for Hillary in the Democrat Primary).  Thus, based on registration numbers, Gallup and the other polling agencies overpoll Democrats -- they poll 45 Democrats, 35 Republicans and 20 Independents out of every 100.  The more Democrats you poll, the further ahead the Democrats in the poll (and vice versa).

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